Friday, April 21, 2017

Poison drummer raising funds for new cancer therapy

Poison drummer Rikki Rockett is raising awareness and funds to support immunotherapy at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health after successfully completing a clinical trial that declared him cancer-free last summer.

Following a 2015 diagnosis that confirmed the presence of oral cancer, the rocker initially received standard radiation and chemotherapy treatment before checking in to Moore’s for the experimental procedure.

“I was more scared than I have ever been,” explained Rockett, “but nine weeks later when I got my first PET/CT/MRI, the cancer had shrunk over 90%!!! A mere nine weeks later, I was 100% cancer free on July 13th, one day before my son Jude's seventh birthday.”

Rockett joined the reunited Poison lineup for a 30th anniversary tour that recently began and will see them play their own headline dates while on the road with Def Leppard and Tesla.

The drummer is now asking concert-goers to join him in supporting immunotherapy at Moores Cancer Center. At US stops on the band’s 2017 tour now through June, attendees will hear his story, watch a video about Moores and be given the opportunity to donate $10 by texting "RIKKI" to 50555. (Anyone else at home can also participate at any time.)

"Without the doctors and staff at Moores Cancer Center, I can honestly say I don't think I'd be here today, to say nothing about playing drums and going on tour again," says Rockett. "I am incredibly grateful that I've got my life back and I'll get to see my two children grow up."

These "text2give" donations will directly support cancer immunotherapy at Moores Cancer Center, including research, clinical trials and patient care. Rather than directly targeting tumors as in traditional cancer therapies, immunotherapy boosts the body's immune system, better enabling it to attack cancer cells itself. This type of treatment is only available at a few specific medical centers around the country.

"We can't thank Rikki and all his fans enough for supporting our work," said Ezra Cohen, MD, co-head of the Solid Tumor Therapeutics Research Program, associate director of Translational Sciences and one of Rockett's oncologists at Moores Cancer Center. "We are delighted that Rikki responded so well to immunotherapy. He had already been through a lot with chemotherapy and radiation treatment before he came to us, but his cancer recurred. While this approach is still in the early stages and isn't right for everyone, with Rikki's support we hope to make immunotherapy available to more patients before they have to go through everything he did."

Text2give charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. You must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and data rates may apply.

This weekend, the Def Leppard tour will play the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN on April 21, the Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, SD on April 22 and the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA on April 24.

See also:

Poison drummer updates cancer status
Poison announce first headline dates in more than a decade
Def Leppard announce North American tour with Poison and Tesla
Search Bret Michaels at hennemusic
Search Poison at hennemusic